The Placitas Elementary School Recycling Club collects
plastic shopping bags to recycle and earn money.
Going green at Placitas Elementary School
Students in Mr. Sheehan’s Recycling Club are once again thinking
green this school year by reducing, reusing, recycling, and remembering.
The club has about twenty members from the fourth and fifth grades.
The club typically meets one to two times a month to separate recycled
items collected on the campus (newspaper, white paper, cardboard,
plastics, and aluminum cans).
“[It is] amazing how much can be recycled at the school every
couple weeks,” says Sheehan. The club usually concludes the
meeting with an arts-and-crafts activity by using recycled items.
It is also amazing what they can make out of an egg carton!
The club has also continued collecting plastic bags through the
Wal-Mart Incentive Program. Last year, the club earned over $550
and received a bonus for being one of the top ten collecting elementary
schools in New Mexico. “The community has been very supportive
in dropping bags off at the school or the local recycling center,”
This year, the club has teamed up with the Placitas Recycling Center.
Center President John Richardson gave the students an orientation
of the center this past November. Each student will volunteer one
Saturday morning during the school year. “My main objective
when I started the club last year was to give the students the opportunity
to make a real difference in their school and community,”
Vincent Sheehan is a fourth- and fifth-grade teacher at Placitas
Cowboy ideals to help kids make good choices
Cowboys & Kids, a program that uses the cowboy philosophy to
encourage children to make positive choices in life, will be in
Rio Rancho area schools next week. The “Cowboy Up” assembly
will use American Cowboy and Western themes to draw students’
attention. Sharing the traits of cowboys—strong character
and positive attitudes—will attempt to guide children to make
the right choices in life.
The students will see the “Cowboy Up” presentation
at Enchanted Hills and Vista Grande Elementary Schools. The program
covers patriotism, western heritage, and the cowboy lifestyle using
posters and interactive exhibits. The term “Cowboy Up”
has become popular in Western arenas around the country as a saying
to encourage people to be strong or tough. In this case, it will
be used to teach kids to stick to the cowboy ideals and make good
choices in life.
The Cowboys & Kids REACH Program will be led by Cowboys &
Kids Representative Penny Conway, president and founder of Cowboys
REACH assemblies instruct first- to eighth-grade students by presenting
a western-themed program that has been effective and popular with
students and teachers for the past seventeen years, reaching over
one hundred thousand kids throughout the United States per year.
For more information about the Cowboys & Kids REACH program,
Ruth Cerutti named principal of Roosevelt Elementary
Bernalillo Public Schools has named Ruth Cerutti principal of Roosevelt
Elementary School. Cerutti brings twenty-four years of experience
and expertise in the educational field to Roosevelt.
“What an honor and a privilege it is to become the new principal
of Roosevelt Elementary,” said Cerutti. “Early childhood
education has always been a passion of mine and to lead this K-2
school feels like a dream come true.”
“I look forward to leading Roosevelt Elementary, where the
staff and I will become a team and share in the decision-making
process to ensure that all students become successful, life-long,
autonomous learners at a child-centered, community-involved school.”
Cerutti holds three degrees from the University of New Mexico and
holds licensures in the following areas: Administrative 3B (preK-12),
Instructional Leader Level 3A, Elementary (K-8), Early Childhood
(preK-3). Of her twenty-four years in education, Cerutti has spent
twenty in the classroom for Albuquerque Public Schools.
Prior to her selection at Roosevelt Elementary School, Cerutti
served five years as an instructional coach and administrative intern
at Albuquerque Public Schools. Her experience in teaching has been
in kindergarten for twelve years, first grade for two years, first/second
multi-age for two years and first/second inclusion for two years.
—A SIDEBAR, BY GREG LEICHNER
• quacksalver (1579)—charlatan: “Charlotte and
Henry bought a time machine from a quacksalver and they traveled
back to the Dark Ages.”
• quadriga (1741)— a chariot drawn by four horses abreast:
“Our one true God, F’zotnik, rode down to Earth from
Heaven in a flaming quadriga and planted the seeds of Truth and
• quadrivium (1804)—a group of studies consisting of
arithmetic, music, geometry, and astronomy, and forming the upper
division of the seven liberal arts in medieval universities: “Lucius
took one look at the quadrivium and immediately enrolled in trade
• quadrumanous (1819)—having feet adapted for grasping:
“The Las Vegas show Sloth de Soleil is a quadrumanous tour
• quaff (1523)—to drink deeply: “The knight removed
his coif and quaffed from the bucket of wine.”
• quagga (1785)—an extinct mammal of southern Africa
that resembled and was related to the zebras: “The bones of
the quagga haunt the plain.”
• Quaker gun (1809)—a dummy piece of artillery usually
made of wood: “From the air, our dozen Quaker guns looked
• quandary (1579)—a state of perplexity or doubt: “Greg
was in a quandary about which lie to believe.”
• quango (1973)—quasi-nongovernmental organization:
“Vikki and I dance a mean, vigorous Blackwater Quango.”
• quantum leap (1956)—an abrupt change, sudden increase,
or dramatic advance: “Try imagining the quantum leap we have
thus far failed to imagine.”
• quarrelsome (1596)—apt or disposed to quarrel in
an often petty manner: “My quarrelsome neighbor, Mr. Ragland,
wouldn’t shut up about the leaves from my tree that fell into
• quasimodo (1847)—Low Sunday (the Sunday following
Easter): “Quasimodo is best spent playing golf.”
• quicksilver (1655)—mercury: “Redundancy is
in. Drive the new Mercury Quicksilver today.”
• quidnunc (1709)—busybody: “Ever the quidnunc,
Mrs. Spork pressed her ear to the apartment wall.”
• quiff (1890)—a prominent forelock: “High school
hoods in the 1950s often sported quiffs.”
• quirt (1845)—a riding whip with a short handle and
a rawhide lash: “Wearing no-nonsense but elegant ranchwoman
garb, Henry, quirt in hand, entered the Halloween party dressed
as actress Barbara Stanwyck.”
• QWER-TY (1929)—a standard typewriter keyboard: “The
QWER-TY proves we humans can adapt to anything.”
Volunteer tutors needed to teach adults English
ReadWest is a nonprofit adult and family literacy agency that has
been around for almost twenty years. They are a fully accredited
agency, funded by United Way, the New Mexico Coalition for Literacy,
Dollar General, and a variety of fundraising events and donations.
They are searching for volunteers, to whom they can provide free
training, free materials, a safe place to tutor, assistance, and
appreciation throughout the tutoring experience. The commitment
is a two-hour session, once a week.
ReadWest has close to one hundred volunteers who work individually
and collectively to serve over three hundred students each year.
Currently, twenty students are waiting for a caring volunteer.
For further information on how you can get involved, contact Susan
Ryerson, Executive Director, at 235-0714 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Children have a fun drawing activity at the Placitas
Community Library. See article on their February Lunar New Year
activity in the Night Sky section
of this Signpost.
Share an afternoon with some of the original Placiteños
—ANNE FROST, CO-DIRECTOR, PLACITAS COMMUNITY LIBRARY
The San Antonio De Las Huertas (SADLH) Community Land Grant and
the Placitas Community Library will cosponsor a presentation on
the past, present, and future of the original settlers of Placitas.
This will be a great opportunity to learn about the history, traditions,
and life experiences since 1765 in the Placitas area. The gathering
will take place at the Placitas San Antonio Mission Hall in the
center of the Village on Paseo de San Antonio, February 24th at
2:00 p.m. Call the library at 867-3355 for specific directions.
Biscochitos and cider will be served.
In January, the Sandoval County Commission officially signed the
contract with architectural firm SMPC for your new library building.
Programming and design phases will begin shortly. Please watch this
column for news about community meetings and other opportunities
for input. We intend to make this a beautiful, functional, green
building which meets the needs of this community. In order to do
that, we will need your participation.
Your tax dollars have been at work! Using County GO Bond funds,
the library has been able to purchase a new color printer/copier.
No longer will you need to fight endless paper jams, nor perform
incantations to get the library copier to provide a simple copy!
This copier can print on both sides, collate, scan, and fax. It
is easier to use and provides laser quality black-and-white or color
prints. Copies are ten cents for black-and-white and fifty cents
The library book group meets at 4:00 p.m. on the first Monday of
most months, barring holidays and snowstorms. This is an open group
which welcomes drop-ins and loves new regulars. In February, they
will discuss Maggie O’Farrell’s The Vanishing Act of
Esme Lennox; in March, they will discuss 1491 by Charles G. Mann.
Please call the library at 867-3355 to confirm the time and location
if you did not attend the last discussion. A list of the books this
and many other Placitas book groups are reading in 2008 is available
at the library and on our website at www.placitaslibrary.com.
At least one copy of each of these titles is also available for
check-out at the library.
Events at the Placitas Community Library:
Lunar New Year celebration—February 16, 10:00 to 11:30 a.m.
An afternoon with original Placitas family members—February
24, 2:00 p.m. at the Mission Social Hall.
Library book group—4:00 p.m., the first Monday of the month.
Call to verify date and location, 867-3355.
Preschool story time—10:00 a.m. Thursday, February 7 and
Thursday, March 6
Bilingual story hour—3:00 p.m. Wednesday, February 20 and
Wednesday, March 19. Please note new day for the bilingual story
time for ages two through ten.
Library hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 4:00
p.m., Thursday 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
The library is located at 1 Tierra Madre in Placitas. For further
information, call 867-3355 or visit placitaslibrary.com.
New Mexico’s largest photovoltaic array
Sacred Power Corporation, the largest Native American-owned solar
integration manufacturer and contractor in the United States, recently
installed a 70kW solar electric array at the Southwest Indian Polytechnic
Institute (SIPI) located on Albuquerque’s west side.
This 70kW photovoltaic array is in the form of a roofing product
on the school’s gymnasium, which is termed “a building-integrated
photovoltaic array (BIPV)” by industry professionals. PNM’s
30kW photovoltaic array located in Algodones, New Mexico, was previously
the state’s largest.
Odes Armijo-Caster, Vice President and COO of Sacred Power stated,
“This is a significant opportunity to contribute to Albuquerque’s
green initiatives. Additionally, it’s exciting to see the
development of SIPI’s renewable energy curriculum and the
facilities to teach firsthand how the technology works.”
Established in 1971, SIPI is a National Indian Community College
and Land Grant Institution serving American Indian and Alaskan Native
students. It’s the first tribal college in the country to
establish a renewable energy curriculum. SIPI’s other renewable
energy systems include a solar hot water heating system and a smaller
photovoltaic system at the childcare facility as well the first
tracking solar carport located at the new Science and Technology
“SIPI is preparing students for the technological workforce.
When students see institutions practicing what they teach, I believe
it enhances their learning experience. Not only is SIPI walking
the talk, there is an added value in knowing they have created a
renewable energy campus that directly contributes to the preservation
of Mother Earth,” said David Melton, Laguna tribal member
and CEO of Sacred Power Corporation.
Sacred Power was the lead contractor. Solar Integrated, a California-based
company, manufactured the unique photovoltaic roofing product. The
project was initiated and funded by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
Sacred Power’s two Albuquerque locations are: 1) its corporate
headquarters, located within the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center at
2401 12th Street NW, Suite 204-205, Albuquerque, NM 87104; and 2)
their manufacturing facility at 815 Bellamah NW, Albuquerque, NM
87102, which resides in a HUB Zone.
Teen girls invited to participate in filmmaking
Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails, Inc. is launching a first-of-its-kind
high-adventure program for girls in ninth through twelfth grades—Wheeler
Peak Adventure: The Video. This program will give girls the opportunity
to learn new skills and develop existing talents to create a film
from start to finish, including researching, writing, musical scoring,
editing, directing, producing, acting, and filming. The ultimate
goal is to have a film with a fantastic story and professional quality
visuals that the team will be able to share with people across the
Girls from northern and central New Mexico are welcome to participate.
The program is being developed and led by Girl Scout volunteer Christina
Frain, author and photographer of New Mexico Campgrounds: The
Statewide Guide (Westcliffe Publishers, 2004).
Volunteers are needed to advise, teach, and/or participate in activities
related to Wheeler Peak flora and fauna, history and politics of
wilderness protection, geology, backpacking and wilderness survival
skills, meteorology, GPS systems and software, or any aspect of
The filming portion of this project is what makes it a true high-adventure
program. A film crew will spend six days and five nights in the
Wheeler Peak Wilderness, capturing the essence of the spectacular
area—the flora, fauna, geology, weather, and the human experience
and impact—on digital video. Girls interested in being a part
of the film crew can complete a special application, separate from
committing to work on the other aspects of the project, to be part
of this select team.
To ensure that the program is open and accessible to girls throughout
northern and central New Mexico, many of the meetings, training
activities, and working sessions will be conducted live via video
conference. Video conferences will be available from Farmington
to Clovis and many sites in between.
For more information about this program or about volunteering,
or contact Christina Frain at email@example.com.
Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails, Inc. serves more than five thousand
girls in twenty-three counties in northern and central New Mexico.
The council’s administrative headquarters is located in Albuquerque
and service centers are located in Aztec and Santa Fe. Girl Scouts
provides a variety of activities to help girls, ages five to seventeen,
build courage, confidence, and character, which are key traits of
leadership. Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails, Inc. welcomes all
girls and adults to join the organization as members or volunteers.
Contributions for programs, financial aid, or other organizational
needs are welcome as well. To volunteer, join, or contribute, call
(505) 343-1040 or (800) 658-6768.